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How does Fit Out Finance work?

Written by

Shaun McGowan

Fit-Out Finance in Australia is a type of business finance used to refurbish businesses and franchises. The amount you can borrow will vary from lender to lender with an average of around $300,000. Fit-out loans can be applied for online with specialist finance lenders, and terms will vary as well, sometimes up to five years.

In summary:

  • Can be used to finance a wide range of minor fittings
  • Is used for stores, restaurants, shops, offices, factories, warehouses, and medical practices
  • Can be obtained from banks, non-bank lenders, specialists, and through finance brokers
  • Will often require a business plan to present to the lender

Key Features

  • Borrow from $5,000 to $500,000
  • Fixed or variable interest rates
  • Repayments to suit your budget
  • Terms from one month to five years
  • Secured & unsecured options
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Who is eligible?

  • Own a business and have an ABN
  • Business is GST-registered
  • Permanent Citizenship or Residency
  • Minimum business-operating time of six months
  • Can provide business bank statements
Minimum requirements for a business loan

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What is Fit Out Finance?

Fit-out finance covers loans used for refurbishment, relocation, and redevelopment of businesses in Australia. Fit-out loans are used by a variety of businesses to finance everything from electrical work to signage, furniture, and HVAC systems.

Fit-Out Finance can be used for almost any business refurbishment, and is utilised by a wide range of businesses and franchises in Australia — those offering products to customers (such as retail) and services (such as medical facilities) to provide a welcoming and inviting space for staff and customers alike.

It can be used for both major and minor refurbishments — it is commonly used to completely revitalise existing spaces, rebrand following a change of ownership, or upgrade existing fit-outs following periods of significant business growth.

  • Shop Fit-Out Finance
  • Restaurant Fit-Out Finance
  • New Office Fit-Out Finance
  • Warehouse and Factory Fit-Outs
  • Medical Practice Fit-Outs

Depending on the type of business, borrowers can access up to 100 per cent of the fit-out cost for their new or existing business or franchise.

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Shop Fit-Out Finance

Apply for shop fit-out finance and get the funds you need to completely refurbish and set up your new shop or retail store, including display cabinets and clothing racks, front-of-house and sales counters, changing rooms, and much more.

You can use shop fit-out finance to purchase:

  • Clothing racks and displays
  • Display cabinets
  • Internal walls and doors for changing rooms
  • EFTPOS machines and facilities
  • HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air-Conditioning) units
  • Sales and front-of-house counters
  • Tiling, carpet, or other flooring
  • Lighting, electrical work and fittings
  • Furniture such as couches, chairs and tables
  • Kitchen equipment for staff areas
  • Branded signage and front-of-store signage
  • Security systems

Restaurant Fit-Out Finance

Use restaurant fit-out finance to fund everything you need for your new cafe or restaurant. You can use a restaurant fit-out loan to purchase kitchen and front-of-house equipment, and even use it to decorate your space with artwork and dining tables.

Restaurant fit-out finance can allow you to purchase:

  • Furniture such as couches, chairs and tables
  • Staff benches and counters
  • Sales and front-of-house counters
  • Lighting, electrical work and fittings
  • Kitchen appliances such as dishwashers or fridges
  • Kitchen installations such as cabinets and drawers
  • Glassware and storage areas
  • Toilets and sinks
  • Tiling, carpet, or other flooring
  • Cold storage rooms
  • Branded signage
  • Security monitoring systems
  • Artwork
  • HVAC units
  • EFTPOS machines and facilities

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Fit-Out Finance for Franchises

Fit-Out Finance is commonly used by individuals buying a franchise. Franchises are commonly refurbished every 5 - 10 years, and it is equally uncommon that the franchisor will assist in funding this process.

New owners of an existing franchise will often wish to rebrand or purchase new equipment — this can incur costs for signage, upgraded staff facilities and more. You can read more about this in our guide on purchasing an existing, established business or franchise.


New Office Fit-Out Finance

New office fit-out finance is ideal for gaining the necessary funding to completely set up your new office space. If you are planning to time your relocation with an update to your business branding, you can use funds to create branded signage, break-out rooms or meeting areas with internal walls.

New office fit-out finance can allow you to purchase:

  • Employee workstations and desks
  • Drawers and cabinets
  • Printers and Photocopiers
  • Rugs
  • Standing desks and whiteboards
  • IT infrastructure — including cabling and Wi-Fi extender systems
  • Internal walls within an office — including meeting rooms or break-out rooms
  • Tiling, carpet, or other flooring
  • Lighting, electrical work and fittings
  • HVAC units
  • Security systems
  • Branded signage
  • Artwork
  • Furniture such as couches, chairs and tables
  • Bathrooms — including showers, toilets and washbasins

Fit-Out Finance for Medical Practices

In Australia, medical professionals are often able to access fit-out finance by using their medical practice as equity — this prevents needing to provide residential property as security.

In general, most medical professionals that meet these criteria will need to be certified by the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA), and can borrow up to 100 per cent of the fit-out costs required.

Medical professionals who may be able to apply using medical practice equity include:

  • Doctors
  • Dentists
  • Physiotherapists
  • Veterinarians

While doctors — including GPs and specialists — can meet the approval criteria without a minimum time in practice, all other medical professionals will need to have been in their profession for a minimum of three years.

Lenders will also request that you provide a minimum financial history of one year to approve applications greater than $500,000.

How to qualify and apply

Qualifying for a fit-out loan is relatively simple. Most lenders will be able to offer you fit-out finance options if you have:

  • Been trading for at least 9 months; and
  • Have an ABN (Australian Business Number); and
  • Are registered for GST

While most lenders will prefer you have been actively trading for a minimum of 9 - 12 months, you can still apply and get approved for fit-out finance if you have been trading for less than 9 months.

How to qualify for a loan in Australia

Fit-out finance falls under the same application process as other types of equipment finance. You’ll qualify for fast approval using a streamlined application process if you are applying for finance up to a total value of $100,000 and you:

  • Have been in business 24 months; and
  • Have an ABN; and
  • Are registered for GST; and
  • Own a home

If you fall outside the above criteria, or are wishing to apply for a fit-out loan greater than $100,000, the application process will be much the same albeit longer and requiring a greater amount of supporting documentation to gain approval.

Before applying for fit-out finance, you’ll want to research lenders and get a firm understanding of the required documentation. Although some types of documentation will remain consistent between lenders — such as proof of identity — the depth of others may vary.

For example, some lenders may require financial records of a specific historical length, while others may request a business plan to support your application.

In general, you will need to supply a range of supporting documents, such as:

  • Proof of identity
  • Financial records for the previous 2 - 3 years (provided by your accountant)
  • Profit and Loss Statements Balance Sheet
  • Details of your fit-out purchases
  • Business bank statements
  • Rates notice (if you own a home)
  • Rental agreement (if you are renting)

You may also be asked to provide a business plan:

  • Lenders will often request a business plan when assessing fit-out finance loans. This is to illustrate how you expect your business to perform over the next few years (the term of the loan) and how the fit-out loan will assist in adding value to your business to increase profits and cash flow.

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Here are the most popular questions people are asking about fit-out finance:

Most lenders will be able to consider your application for fit-out finance if you have been trading for a minimum of 9 months, have an Australian Business Number, and are registered for GST.

Fit-Out Finance amounts will vary between lenders, and will generally be assessed in relation to your level of risk as a borrower. Specialist lenders will offer loans from $5,000 up to $500,000.

Fit-Out Finance applications will require you to supply proof of identity, financial records provided by your accountant, and details of the assets or fittings you wish to purchase — they may additionally require a business plan to support your application.

Fit-Out Finance can be used for all types of office, warehouse, and store refurbishments. This includes electrical work, office furniture, security systems, EFTPOS facilities, and much more.

About the Author

Shaun McGowan from



Shaun McGowan

Shaun is the founder of and is determined to help people pay as little as possible for financial products. Through education and building world class technology. Previously Shaun co-founded and Lend.